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Thursday July 18th 2024

The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! | 1988

The Naked Gun filming location: Park Plaza Hotel, 607 South Park View Street, downtown Los Angeles
The Naked Gun location: the office of villain Vincent Ludwig: Park Plaza Hotel, South Park View Street, downtown Los Angeles

The big screen spin-off from Police Squad, the inexplicably short-lived TV series, by the makers of Airplane! was, of course, filmed around Los Angeles.

The press conference, to announce the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II, is held in the Council Chamber of Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, downtown, and Her Majesty’s reception is at the old Ambassador Hotel, which stood at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, midtown.

The entrance seen in the movie was the canopied entrance to the Ambassador's old Cocoanut Grove, on the hotel's western side.

The Ambassador – site of Oscar ceremonies in the Thirties and of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 – stood empty for many years, until finally succumbing to the wrecker’s ball in 2006. The NOW (New Open World) Academy now stands on the hotel's footprint and elements of the circular entrance have been incorporated into the design.

The Naked Gun film location: Cocoanut Grove, Wilshire Boulevard, Midtown Los Angeles
The Naked Gun location: the reception for HM the Queen: Cocoanut Grove (demolished), Wilshire Boulevard, Midtown Los Angeles

Among the hundreds of films shot at the old Ambassador are the 1954 version of A Star Is Born, The Graduate, Se7en, Rocky, The Mask, S.W.A.T., Apollo 13 and Old School among many others.

The office of villain Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) is the Park Plaza Hotel, 607 South Park View Street, overlooking MacArthur Park in downtown. One of the most-used locations in Los Angeles, if not the world, you can see the hotel again in Joel and Ethan Coen's Barton Fink, Martin Scorsese's New York, New York, The Big Picture, Richard Attenborough's biopic Chaplin, with Robert Downey Jr, Mystery Men, Hocus Pocus, Steven Spielberg's Hook, Mister Saturday Night, Mobsters, Primal Fear, Stargate, What's Love Got to Do With It? and Not Another Teen Movie among many others, as well as in countless TV series and music videos.

The towering structure, with its spectacular vaulted lobby, was built in the twenties as the Elks Building and long served as a hotel, but as the area around it, particularly MacArthur Park, became associated with drug related violence, it became increasingly deserted and finally closed its doors in 1998. It's now exclusively used for movie shoots and private functions.

Just across the park stood the Vagabond Cinema, 2509 Wilshire Boulevard, where Lt Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) and Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley) have a good laugh over Oliver Stone’s sidesplitting Platoon. The Vagabond closed in 1993 and has reopened as the Hayworth Theatre, presenting live performances.

The waterfront is Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro, south of the city, and the car chase is on South Santa Fe Avenue and the Fourth Street Viaduct, east of downtown.

The baseball ground climax uses two different grounds: the exterior and the longshots were the Anaheim Stadium – now the Angel Stadium, 2000 Gene Autrey Way, Anaheim in Orange County, home to the California Angels and the LA Rams; while the interiors are the Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Avenue, north central LA.